Rangers sink champs to go top

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Warley Rangers moved back to the top of the Halifax AFL with a hard fought 4-3 win away to champions Calder 76 on Saturday.

Both sides were shorn of several regulars and it showed in a scrappy start on a heavy and difficult surface.

Warley’s Carlton Balmer had a shot which drifted wide before Connor Bell scored a dazzling opener for the visitors.

He picked up the ball on half way and set off on a superb run past four challengers, waltzing his way into the area and slotting past the keeper.

Dan Kirman headed over a great chance before Calder equalised against the run of play, Rick Topham pouncing following a long throw.

Topham was denied by a superb last ditch challenge from Rangers captain Anson James but Calder edged ahead when a free kick dropped inside the six yard box and the lively Remi Allen finished, despite pleas for offside.

Trailing 2-1, Rangers came out for the second half with all guns blazing and Kirman got them level with a stunning 30-yarder with his weaker left foot, the ball dipping into the top corner.

Macauley Norcliffe displayed twinkle toes in the area before chipping the ball into the roof of the net for 2-3.

Calder substitute Calum Wheelwright missed a golden chance before Balmer took advantage of a defensive error to expertly lob the stranded keeper from 35 yards.

Poor defending in the last minute allowed Allen to score his second.

Sowerby United won 2-1 away to fellow strugglers Copley United in the only other Premier Division game.

They were good value for their success but were nearly made to pay for wasting several glorious chances.

It took the visitors half an hour to find the net, a defence-splitting ball from James Clegg enabling Corey Henderson to race clear and rifle home from a tight angle.

A second soon followed when skipper Dan Crosland poked the ball home after a surging run.

Opportunities went begging for Sowerby and when Gary Ash headed home early in the second half Copley were back in it.

Copley had a good spell before being pushed back by some fine flowing football from Sowerby.

Sowerby Bridge are six points clear in Division One but were less emphatic winners than expected against Calder ‘76 Reserves, scraping through 2-1.

Brighouse Sports are up to fourth after a 7-5 home win over AFC Crossleys.

St Columba’s and Plummet Line met for the second time in recent weeks and Saints followed up their 3-0 away win with a 2-0 success in Division Two.

The wind made it difficult for Saints to get up the pitch in the first half and play was even.

The best chance fell to Plummet when keeper Maccauley Richardson misjudged a long ball forward, but the ball ran away from the striker with the goal gaping.

The second half was dominated by Saints. Plummet made numerous last ditch blocks and goal line clearances but were finally undone from the spot, Ben Caldwell firing home after Scott Holmes had been brought down.

Jack Wilkinson made an impact from the bench and he sent Vinny O’Shea through to lob Martyn Brown in the Plummet goal and ensure the three points.

Ivy House regained the leadership with a 6-3 win away to Salem Reserves while the battle of the Sowerby second strings went United’s way by 3-1 against Bridge.

Crossleys Reserves and Shelf United Reserves shared the spoils in a 4-4 draw.